LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Republican lawmakers in Michigan are joining a handful of states in trying to ban the use of vaccine passports.

The much-talked about term “vaccine passport” refers to written or electronic documentation for the purposes of proving a person has received a vaccination for COVID-19.

A new House bill backed by several Republican representatives would “prohibit producing, issuing, or providing an incentive for COVID-19 vaccination passports.”

“I do believe in vaccines, but I do believe in freedom also,” Rep. Tommy Brann, R-Wyoming, said.

Other lawmakers backing the bill argue vaccine passports are an invasion of privacy and that the decision to get vaccinated is a personal choice.

“(For) measles and smallpox, you didn’t have to have passports,” Brann said. “The word freedom is a big word in this country and there should be freedom on that.”

While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer nor other state official have made mention of implementing such a policy, conservative lawmakers like Rep. Luke Meerman, R-Polktown Township, feel the need to get ahead of the matter just in case.

“From my perspective, I’ve seen our governor act unilaterally and for me, this (legislation) is one way to say, ‘Hands off, not here. We’re not doing this,’” Meerman said.

If passed, the legislation would only apply to government entities like courthouses and administrative buildings.

The bill has no bearing on the private sector, meaning private businesses like concert venues or sports arenas would have the ability to implement vaccine requirements of their own.